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Calling all Emerald Lovers!! Please help me stay on course

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
I've always had a crush for Colombian emeralds...and given that it's my husband's birthstone, I've successfully persuaded him into getting me one for Valentine's Day 8) which I intend on making a RHR out of.

As a complete newbie to the world of colored stones...first step was research. The gist of what I gathered is that most Emeralds are treated, the "best" kind is via colorless oil (magnitude varies). Some are treated with colored oil to enhance the color, and some have been oiled over and over which makes the stone more fragile over time(?), and some are filled with resin to enhance the clarify. The stone color/saturation is one of the major driver in price...although there is no "official" ranking of colors (like Diamond has D, E, F etc). Also it seems that most of the emeralds don't come with official certificate (like GIA)?

The struggle I have is that the price is literally ALL OVER the place! I ran searches online via Ebay, Etsy, MasterCut Gems, Gem Rock Auctions, James Allen, etc and for the same size, some stones are under $100 and some are even $10k+, which makes it really confusing without having clear set of parameters to look for.

Ideally this is my wish list: Natural (mined, not lab-created) Colombian emerald in a emerald cut, at least 1.5 carat that's not too deep cut so it maximizes the face-up measurements (planned to make a RHR). I *think* my max tolerance is colorless oil treatment, F1 or above (no other enhancement of ANY kind). The colors I'm drawn to are not the classic Colombian Emerald color that's not too dark or light. Ideally eye-clean. Originally I was set on certified stones only (as I cannot imagine buying an uncertified diamond) but perhaps it's not an requirement if I'm getting high quality stone. What kind of price range should I expect for this wishlist?

Am I missing anything else? What are the vendors/shops you guys recommend? I'm currently talking to JR Emeralds who's been super helpful and informative.

Any thoughts/advice are welcome! Thank you :razz:
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
These are the RHR setting inspo I have, which I haven't decided exactly on yet.

Inspo.JPG inspo1.JPG inspo2.JPG inspo3.JPG inspo4.JPG
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,889
Wow, a lot of emerald love lately. I'm not an emerald expert, so I'll let others recommend vendors, though I think that apart from vendors that specialize in emeralds, you might also consider Cecile Raley Designs or Enhoerning Jewelry, both on Etsy, who have experience with a range of colored stones and do have enough experience with emeralds. I know that Yvonne of Cecile Raley Designs traveled to source emeralds at the Muzo and Chivor mines last year, and plans to do so again later this year.

Originally I was set on certified stones only (as I cannot imagine buying an uncertified diamond) but perhaps it's not an requirement if I'm getting high quality stone. What kind of price range should I expect for this wishlist?
I would disagree with the bolded portion. If you are getting a high quality stone, it makes it MORE of a requirement to get lab reports. Don't let certain emerald vendors try to persuade you otherwise. A top report for emerald would be SSEF or an AGL Full Grading Report (not the Origin Report). Only if you go to a lab, and have an independent professional inspect your emerald carefully under a microscope, will you know the extent of the treatment, i.e. F1, F2, F3.

The price range, depends on the vendor and depends on color and extent of treatment/inclusions. Do you have an ideal size in mind?

Edit: PS I don't know if you are taking votes, but I like the second inspo the most, even though the stone featured wasn't an emerald. It's a refined aesthetic.
 
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Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
Thank you for your insight @voce really appreciate it!

If you are getting a high quality stone, it makes it MORE of a requirement to get lab reports. Don't let certain emerald vendors try to persuade you otherwise. A top report for emerald would be SSEF or an AGL Full Grading Report (not the Origin Report). Only if you go to a lab, and have an independent professional inspect your emerald carefully under a microscope, will you know the extent of the treatment, i.e. F1, F2, F3.

The price range, depends on the vendor and depends on color and extent of treatment/inclusions. Do you have an ideal size in mind?
The vendor I'm currently chatting with said that any stones can be sent to GIA for an additional fee of $250...dilemma!!

My current wishlist is:
- 7mm or bigger...1.5 carat that's not cut too deep to maximize the face-up measurements
- F1 oil treatment or less (no other enhancement of any kind)
- Mostly eye-clean, no "window"
- Color (which I understand to be a major price driver): Is it just me but describing color with words seem impossible!? I'm drawn to the not too light, not too dark, forest green(?).. here are a few pictures for to reference the type of color I'm drawn to.


Inspo.JPG

color ref.JPG color ref2.JPG
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,698
I second the opinion to get a report for which ever stone that you wish to get, esp at the sizing that you are looking at.

I just started my emerald learning too.
So much to learn.
My eyes now understand windows/ extinction/ dead areas in imaging and what I also see in real life. Nothing beats getting lots of experienced eyes to guide you.

Hope @T Land others will see post And guide you on coloured stones.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,889
Thank you for your insight @voce really appreciate it!



The vendor I'm currently chatting with said that any stones can be sent to GIA for an additional fee of $250...dilemma!!

My current wishlist is:
- 7mm or bigger...1.5 carat that's not cut too deep to maximize the face-up measurements
- F1 oil treatment or less (no other enhancement of any kind)
- Mostly eye-clean, no "window"
- Color (which I understand to be a major price driver): Is it just me but describing color with words seem impossible!? I'm drawn to the not too light, not too dark, forest green(?).. here are a few pictures for to reference the type of color I'm drawn to.


Inspo.JPG

color ref.JPG color ref2.JPG
I would call that an "open" green, because to me forest green is more like a Christmas tree green. IMO this little emerald I bought from Cecile Raley Designs looks around the same extent of green. Emeralds look more vivid in person, and mine is darker colored now that it's set than when it was loose.

1580434224109.png

Don't spend lots of money unless there is a good return policy where you can examine the stone in person before the purchase has turned irreversible. Pay the fee for a lab report only if you decide you love the stone in person, and get the vendor to promise you that if the lab report doesn't come back as natural, Colombian origin and F1 clarity treatment only, they'll let you return it even outside of regular return window (lab reports take time)!

A reason for me to recommend Inken from Enhoerning Jewelry is that she is in NYC 7 days a week, where it's easy for her to get a lab report. I don't think an honest NYC jeweler should be charging you $250 for a lab report. The vendor you're talking about is likely not based near a lab like GIA or AGL, and is factoring in insured shipping & handling to/from whichever lab they are offering to use.

Inken has never charged me more than what the lab collects on a stone that she's sourced for me. FYI In the 1.99 ct and under range, GIA emerald identification & origin report is only $85. https://www.gia.edu/doc/Colored_Stone_FS_USD_2020_0101.pdf
 

t86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
59
Drizzle, I’ve been on the exact same journey! Check out my thread!

A few things I learned:

1. No one knows emeralds. Not even your typical jeweler who knows diamonds!

2. I contacted JR, Yvonne, Einhorn Jewelry, Bright Green Stones in Thailand, Muzo Emeralds in Colombia, Gems NY, ID Jewelry, and Embassy Emeralds. Yvonne and Inken are not wholesalers and don’t have an inventory, but can scout for you. Muzo has gorgeous stones and seemed to me like they had prices to match. JR has a ton of stones for all budgets, but I see a lot of stones with windows. Need to exactly tell them what you want. Bright Green Stones seemed near as expensive as Muzo, but their emeralds were packed up for Tuscon, so they couldn’t show me pictures. Gems NY had a ton of inventory, but I wasn’t super impressed. Embassy Emeralds was MIA.

3. Degree of treatment and stability of treatment are most important, not necessarily type. You want to stick with moderate and above. The reason treatment matters is because it can leak or turn white over time, and make your stone look worse. The more treated an emerald, the more different it looks after treatment and hence the more different it may look when the treatment dries up.

I don’t agree that oil only is best—I spoke to AGL, and they said they like modern treatment (resin) because it does the same job as traditional cedar oil, but doesn’t leak out over time and doesn’t need to be retreated. Also, Excel, a modern treatment, is so stable and hardy that you can run emeralds through an ultrasonic. If you stick with just oil, you’ll need to get it reoiled, which isn’t necessarily a huge deal. Just bring it to a pro who will use a vacuum to get the air out and will soak it in oil that is the same refractive index as the emerald and will enter the stone through the surface fractures. Here’s some interesting reading for you: https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/winter-1999-classifying-emerald-clarity-mcclure

I found this interesting:
“Also, a stone may have fewer filled fractures, but if they are in an area where risk of damage is high, the emerald will be placed in a lower clarity-enhancement.”

Thus, treatment is also important because more treated stones may be less durable.

Also, note that the best vendors may not even get the treatment type right. A certificate always helps.

4. Everyone on Pricescope told me to only buy with a cert, but I found most vendors didn’t have them. I ended up dropping off my stone at AGL and getting a verbal of treatment type and amount for $120 in a day. I happen to live in NYC, but most vendors will extend a return period if your AGL stats don’t match what you were promised. Wholesalers such as Bright Green Stones and JR don’t have the time to wait weeks for an AGL cert.
 

t86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
59
5. As for color, I think I’ve seen that tone described as apple green. It should be under $1000/carat. I read every thread I could find and saw deeper greens than yours for $1000/carat.

6. You also want to keep in mind transparency. I feel like this was the biggest thing I kept on missing, because it wasn’t a problem with diamonds. But make sure your stone is lively and transparent, not dead and opaque as emeralds can be due to inclusions. In the three pictures you posted of color preferences, none seemed particularly transparent.

7. Eye clean might be tough due to the nature of emeralds. But given your color preferences and size preferences, probably not too tough. Lighter emeralds tend to be cleaner.

8. I wasn’t too fussed with country of origin. There are beautiful stones coming out of every country and some Colombians that are real duds. That being said, Colombian stones do carry a price premium.

9. No reputable vendor will sell you a dyed stone knowingly, but a lab cert will put your mind at ease.

10. Cuts are generally native cuts and totally different than diamonds. No stats or ASETs to help you here!

11. There is a velvety sheen you get with emeralds that is hard to see in photos and hard to describe, but it’s there. I’d look for that.

12. Emeralds are impossible to photograph. I’m attaching two pics of my stone, taken minutes apart, that look totally different.

13. Lastly, some interesting stats on treatment that I found while looking around om pricescope:


“When I went to the laboratory in colombia called CDTEC 97 percent of emeralds that come from colombia are treated.
2-3 percent are not treated
Only 2 percent are treated with 100 percent pure cedar wood oil.
Around 80 percent are treated with cedar wood oil in combination with non natural oils.
the remaining 15 percent are treated with hardener permasafe type treatments, which can deceptive because if they use it on emerald rough before its cut. The hardener can literally keep the rough together and stop it from falling apart on the cutting wheel.
Permasefe can also make the fractures disappear more than cedar wood oil so it should be disclosed.

Emerald treatments like Permasefe and non natural oils are not specifically bad, Its the amount of filler /treatment that is used that is most important.
Emeralds with a significant level of treatment should be avoided .
Minute or minor have so little amount of enhancer its not a concern.”
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,889
If you are open to shapes other than the traditional emerald cut (marquis, oval), skyjems.ca has a few nice ones. I consider their prices pretty standard, and their main selling points to me are 1) comes certified by GIA already, so you know the level of treatment and can make a decision right when you receive the gem if you love it, and 2) generous return policy with courteous customer service.

They also have emerald cut emeralds, but these are mostly sold on wholesale lots and don't come with individual GIA reports. I think there's a lot of stones they have listed on their website, and it's good for educational purposes.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
5,351
I am not an expert, and only have a tiny 0.47ct Emerald that I bought in HK some 10 years ago as Iiked its colour.
Natural Emeralds that I would love to have, reads over 2ct, Green with a hint of blue, decent clarity and a good EC cut, are out of my league.
Hence when the chance of having an lab created stone cut by Jeff White came along, I grabbed it.
It is still with him, however this is the inspiration ring that I have in mind for this stone. The side stones are likely to be Moissy.

591442

I shall not post the pics of my Emerald as it is a lab created stone. However, they are posted in the lab created CS thread.

Good luck with your search.

DK :))
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
I would call that an "open" green, because to me forest green is more like a Christmas tree green. IMO this little emerald I bought from Cecile Raley Designs looks around the same extent of green. Emeralds look more vivid in person, and mine is darker colored now that it's set than when it was loose.

1580434224109.png

Don't spend lots of money unless there is a good return policy where you can examine the stone in person before the purchase has turned irreversible. Pay the fee for a lab report only if you decide you love the stone in person, and get the vendor to promise you that if the lab report doesn't come back as natural, Colombian origin and F1 clarity treatment only, they'll let you return it even outside of regular return window (lab reports take time)!

A reason for me to recommend Inken from Enhoerning Jewelry is that she is in NYC 7 days a week, where it's easy for her to get a lab report. I don't think an honest NYC jeweler should be charging you $250 for a lab report. The vendor you're talking about is likely not based near a lab like GIA or AGL, and is factoring in insured shipping & handling to/from whichever lab they are offering to use.

Inken has never charged me more than what the lab collects on a stone that she's sourced for me. FYI In the 1.99 ct and under range, GIA emerald identification & origin report is only $85. https://www.gia.edu/doc/Colored_Stone_FS_USD_2020_0101.pdf
@voce Your stone is gorgeous! I would love to see it mounted, if you don't mind sharing a picture :love: I'm definitely after the same hue "open" green.

Thank you for the idea of sending it to GIA myself. I will ask the vendor and see if he will be open to relaxing the return/exchange policy if the grading comes back less than what's been communicated (he's located in Florida). Since I'm in PNW, I will probably have to mail the stone in for grading as well. I was actually toying with the idea of buying the setting from the same vendor but GIA only grades loose stone, right?
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
@t86 WOW you are god-sent! Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I actually did follow your journey, and saw that you were talking to JR Emerald which is what encouraged me to drop them a note. Jorge has been super helpful, communicative, and patient with my millions of question but I'm no where near making a decision yet!

It sounds like you ended up keeping the stone from JR (a TRULY gorgeous stone, btw. I'm all jelly!) and AGL came back to tell you it was resin filled? I've been told that he does not deal with any stones that's resin filled....so now getting a little worried. Less the fact it's filled but more on the inconsistency.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,889
@Drizzle I posted pictures of the ring in various lighting in the Show Your Cecile Raley Design thread. Look on page 22.
 

t86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
59
I wasn’t told that Jorge doesn’t deal with resin stones, just that his stones are mostly cedar wood oil. That being said, Natalie specifically called Bogota to ask about my stone and told me it was oil, not resin, so it was definitely disconcerting hearing otherwise. I felt a lot better after speaking to AGL and hearing their opinion that resin was actually better than oil in terms of stability. Plus, I feel like I lucked out getting minor treatment and therefore the filling is so little it doesn’t really matter either way. I might have felt differently if it was moderate.

JR agreed that I could return past the 14 day window if the AGL specs weren’t what they promised. When you land on an emerald you like, I’d send the stone to a lab yourself so you can see it in person first. No need to waste money on lab fees if you don’t actually like the emerald.

As a final matter, here’s another interesting article on treatment: https://www.gemsociety.org/article/emerald-enhancements-consumer-and-trade-guide/

Definitely stick with what you feel comfortable with in terms of treatment, but I’d encourage you to educate yourself first. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, especially about treatment.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
3,350
what comes to mind re AGL: I have never heard that they do ID the substance used for minor treatment; the procedure for filler name-calling must be somewhere - probably complicated, else they'd offer the gist of it in casual conversation.
 
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t86

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
59
AGL will give the amount of treatment (none, insignificant, minor, moderate, strong, prominent), and the type, modern or traditional. Traditional includes oils such as cedar wood oil, waxes such as paraffin and others. Modern includes polymer type resins, singly or in combination with other type fillers. This is taken directly from their certs.

Drizzle, I’m not sure if GIA discloses filler type or just amount. Might be worth calling them to find out, or going to AGL if you're really concerned about type.
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
Thank you everyone for your input so far!! I went ahead and pulled a trigger on 4 Emerald stones (with the intention of only keeping 1 and the vendor is aware of this). The purpose of buying all 4 is so that I can compare them in person to my heart's content and pick the best one.

After receiving numerous videos and photos of the different stones, I had a really hard time picking - some of the stones looked similar but with different price tags (for similar carat weight). I think seeing all 4 and comparing in person will give me the peace of mind that I did all my due diligence.

From left to right:
1.35 carat
1.40 carat
1.54 carat
2.64 carat



More of 1.35 and 1.40 can be seen from these videos:
*In both videos, 1.35 is the 3rd stone and 1.40 is the 4th stones from the left*


More of 1.54 and 2.64 can be seen from this video:
*1.54 is the 5th stone and 2.64 is the last stone from the left*


I know Emeralds are extremely hard to video and photograph, but...any observation/insights from what I shared? Of course I'm going to inspect them in person myself but I'm too excited not to share here!!

Would love any feedback :read: thank you a ton!
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,698
I like the 1.54 the most. I feel that it has the least amount of window/ extinction? From head on. I hope others can chime in, too, to give their thoughts.

and, can’t wait for you to receive them to really appreciate what you see in person v imaging / advice that you have received so far.



A55B3C95-ED97-45E6-A259-B65B3887374D.jpeg
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
Thank you so much @gregchang35

The 1.54 is one of my top choices as well! The only concern I have with 1.54 is that it's rather deep cut for the carat measuring at 7.2 x 6.6 x 5.2 mm...where as a reference the 1.34 carat measures 7.9 x 6.3 x 3.8 mm.

My other top choice is 2.64 which has amazing spread. In the other video, the 2.64 also had some luster/shine when tilting, although not as much next to the 1.54.

1581888098902.png

Anyways, I know I'm going in way too deep on the analysis without actually having seen the stone!! Keep the opinions coming in guys :) Really appreciate it.
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
2,698
You like what you like. And that is ok. Analysis-paralysis does occur..... I didn’t really check the measurements.

like most coloured stones, choose for colour. Most are cut to maintain weight.

if it doesn’t meet your criteria- keep searching, unless there is a time pressure.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2,889
Maybe the depth of the 1.54 is more proper, and is why there is no window. I would pick the 1.54, then 1.40.
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
After seeing them in person and going back and forth for A WEEK (and overcoming a few bumps on the road), I decided to keep the 2.64 carat.

Photos below (please excuse the ugly hands)

Now I know what you guys all mean by it's so HARD to photograph an emerald...

IMG_3580.jpg

IMG_3579.jpg
 

LilAlex

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
213
That's very pretty. I like the tone and intensity. Some may prefer a darker tone but I like whatever makes the color "pop" the most -- and this seems to be it.

I did not read all of the above but I would not buy an emerald without a report attesting to degree of treatment. It should be mild; if it's higher, I would not touch. ("None" to "minimal" might be out of sight right now, price-wise.) Emerald is so weird that way. Each lab uses different nomenclature.

With that Cartier bangle and other sparkler, I'm guessing you have a nice budget so there are a lot of options...
 

Drizzle

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
79
Congrats - can't wait to see it set!
Thank you so much! I created another thread for setting - welcoming all thoughts and feedback before I have to give the final "go" ...a bit nervous since I'm working with an oversea vendor :pray:
 
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